VALMIKI

RAMAYAN

Condensed

Balkand
   

      SRIKRISHNA   PRAPNNACHARI 

Srimad Valmiki Ramayan

Baalkaand

Srimate Ramanujay Namah

Preface The Ramayan hardly needs any introduction. It contains the divine legend of one of the most loved incarnations of Narayan. He was born as a son of the king of Ayodhya, Dasarath. His marriage to Sita (goddess lakshmi divine consort), who was born from the womb of earth, daughter of Janak, could only take place when He strung the colossal bow of Shiv. The story of His wedding1 forms one of the corner stones of this scripture. Vishwamitr, in the pretext of seeking guard to his sacred rites, ushers Him out from Ayodhya and finally reaches Mithila, the ultimate place of the wedding. Renouncing the right of crown to honour his father, he spent fourteen years in forest as a part of a divine plan to eliminate the demons and free the earth from the devil’s menaces. There are as many versions of Ramayan as many true devotees. Every true devotee portrays the divine pastimes according to his perceptive affection to the almighty lord. Valmiki Ramayan in Sanskrit, is one of the most primitives in the hands of the worldly folks. This, thus forms the fountain head of all the succeeding Ramayan in multiple of languages. The present one, Baalkand, is the condensed English compilation for the fast track would-be readers of the Ramayan. The aim is to kindle the affection to almighty by a rapid reading text available at hand. For the deep found fondly study there is no option than to study the original Sanskrit text of Valmiki. An attempt would be made to keep releasing the succeeding books (Ayodhya through Uttar) one by one as soon as they take presentable shape. The contents in parentheses show the number of Sanskrit verses (shlok) in the original text of a given sarg. The Ramayan has seven books (kaand), and each book is further composed into several sections / chapters (sarg). Balkand has got 77 sections / chapters. Srimann Narayan Charnau Sharnam Prapaddye. (EaImannaarayaNa Submission: Srikrishna Prapnnachari Deepavali, October 17, 2009

carNaaO SarNama\ p`p_o )

                                                            
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  One separate full coverage on the wedding of the lord is being attempted to be presented soon. 

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Content 1-1 Ramayan in nutshell from Narad (100) 1-2 Versatile Verse (43) 1-3 Ramayan composed (39) 1-4 Kush and Lav sings Ramayan (36) 1-5 Ayodhya – physical (23) 1-6 Ayodhya – physical (23) 1-7 Ayodhya – administration (24) 1-8 Aswamedh ygya (24) 1-9 Invitation to Rishyashring (20) 1-10 Rishyashring (33) 1-11 Rishyashring in Ayodhya (31) 1-12 Rishyshring consented to commence the ygya (22) 1-13 Ygya commenced (41) 1-14 Details of aswamedh Ygya (60) 1-15 Son-seeking sacrifice (putrakameshti ygya) (34) 1-16 Dasarath blessed (32) 1-17 Gods advent as monkeys (37) 1-18 Incarnation of four brothers and arrival of Vishwamitr (59) 1-19 Vishwamitr sought Ram (19) 1-20 Dasarath refused to spare Ram ( 28) 1-21 Dasrath brought around (22) 1-22 Ram, Lakshaman accompanied Vishwamitra (23) 1-23 Further journey with Vishwamitra (22) 1-24 Forest of Tataka (32) 1-25 Misdeeds and curse of Tataka (22) 1-26 End of Tataka (36)

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1-27 Vishwamitra bestowed divine missiles (28) 1-28 Counter weapon to Ram (22) 1-29 Siddh ashram (32) 1-30 ygya a success (26) 1-31 On way to Mithila : night halt at shon river (24) 1-32 Vishwamitr’s forefather (26) 1-33 Vishwamitr’s forefather …..continued (26 ) 1-34 Vishwamitr’s forefather……continued (23 ) 1-35 Story of the Ganga (24) 1-36 Uma’s curse to gods and earth (27) 1-37 Birth of Kartikeya (32) 1-38 Sons of king Sagar (24) 1-39 Auspicious horse stolen (26) 1-40 Sagar’s sixty thousand sons burnt to ashes (30) 1-41 Anshuman found the horse (26) 1-42 Brahma blessed Bhageerath (25) 1-43 Ganga descended (25) 1-44 Bhageerath ( BagaIrqa ) offered water oblation (23) 1-45 Ocean churning (samudra manthan) (45) 1-46 Indra tried to destroy Diti’s womb (23) 1-47 More about Vishal city (22) 1-48 Legend of Ahlya (33) 1-49 Ahlaya’s emancipation (22) 1-50 Janak greeted Vishwamitr (25) 1-51 Shatanand elaborated on Vishwamitr ( 28) 1-52 Shatanand continued on Vishwamitr ( 23) 1-53 Shatanand continued…..Seeking of celestial cow (25)

12 13 13 14 14 15 15 15 16 16 16 17 17 18 19 19 19 20 20 21 21 22 22 22 23 23 23

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1-54 Shatanand continued…….Vishwamitr fought for the cow (23) 1-55 Shatanand …..Vishwamitr took to penance (28) 1-56 Shatanand continued ……..Vishwamitr grounded (24) 1-57 Shatanand continued …….Trishanku \met Vashishth (22) 1-58 Shatanand continued …….Trishanku to Vishwamtir ( 24) 1-59 Shatanand continued ……..Vishwamitr organized ygya (22) 1-60 Shatanand continued ……Trishanku pushed back from heaven (34) 1-61 Shatanand continued …….Ambrish in search of the ritual animal (24) 1-62 Shatanand continued ……..Ambrish performed ygya (28) 1-63 Shatanand continued ……..Vishwamitr and Menaka (26) 1-64 Shatanand continued …… .Rambha cursed (20) 1-65 Shatanand concludes……..Vishwamitr became Brahmarishi (40) 1-66 Shiva’s bow shown to Ram (26) 1-67 Ram and the Shiva’s bow (27) 1-68 Dasarath invitated (19) 1-69 Dasarth arrived in Mithila (19) 1-70 Pre-wedding preparations, forefathers of Dasarath (45) 1-71 Janak enumerated his forefathers (24) 1-72 Vishwamitr proposed the marriage of daughters of Kushadhwaj (25) 1-73 The Wedding (40) 1-74 Prashuram (24) 1-75 Prashuram …..continued (28) 1-76 Prashuram………continued (24) 1-77 Arriving back to Ayodhya (29)

23 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 26 26 27 27 27 28 28 29 29 30 30 30 31 32 32 33 

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Srimate Ramanjujay namah

Baal kaand (77 sarg) 1-1. Narad’s sankshep Ramayan (Ramayan in nutshell from Narad) (100)1: Valmiki once enquired from Narad, “Who is the best among men who has got all the ideal qualities? Tell me about him in detail.” Narad was of the view, “Among human beings such personality is hard to find. He will, however, describe about Ram about whom he had learnt from Brahma.” Narad continued, “Advent of Ram is in Ikshavku dynasty. He has got rare divine personality of Vishnu (1-1-18)2 and is possessed with charming divine physique, knowledge of all Vedas and scriptures and well versed in archery and war fare skills. Looking to his qualities, his father king Dasarath decides to crown him as his successor. The claim of two boons by Kakeyi, forces Ram to go to forest, and instead crown is sought for Bharat. Ram is joined by Lakshaman, and Sita, and riding the chariot leaves for the forest. For some distance his father and citizens of Ayodhya follow him on way to the forest (1-1-29). Arriving at Sringberpur he sends back the chariot and accepts the hospitability of Guha, the tribal chief of the place . After crossing Ganga he meets Bhardwaj and on his advice he moves to settle in the forest of Chitrakoot. Dasrath dies hearing settling of Ram in Chitrakoot. Vashishtha impresses upon Bharat to become the king, but instead he goes to the forest to get back Ram as the ruler king. Ram sends back Bharat with his sandals under assurance that he will come back after completing the boon of his father. Bharat staying at Nandigram remained as the custodian king. Expecting regular interference in his forest tenure from Ayodhya, Ram moved further deep in the forest in the area of Dandakranya. He killed Viradha, gave divine welfare to the sages Sarbhanga, Sutikshna, and met Agastya and his brother (1-1-41). Agasty gifts Ram the bow of Indra with everlasting two quivers, and a sword. He assures sages to eliminate demons and free them from their torture. Surpanakha of Janasthan from Dandkaranya is disfigured. On her initiative demons attack on him, and he kills Khar, Trishira, and Dushan along with other fourteen thousand strong demons. Ravan when gets the news, under convulsing rage, he approaches Mareech and although forewarned by him for not entering into rivarlry with Ram, he brings Mareech to the ashram of Ram, and by magical tricks when Ram and Lakshman are taken away to a remote place, he succeeds in abducting Sita. Jatayu suffers severe injury by the sword of Ravan when trying to protect Sita. When Ram meets Jatayu he succumbs to the injuries after telling him how Ravan had abducted Sita. He cremated Jatayu and wailed for his loss of life. On way he kills and cremates the demon Kabandh, who when moving to heaven guides him to go to Shabari around there. He goes to Shabri and receives great respect from her. He meets Hanuman at Pampa lake and befriends Sugriv sanctified by fire after he told all about himself in general and Sita in particular. Sugriv then narrates his state of torture by his elder brother Vali. Ram promises to kill Vali but Sugriva remains skeptical of his strength and tells the stories about the mighty Vali. When

1 2

                                                            
  Number of shlok  in the sarg   The reference 1 is for Balkand, 1 for sarg one, 18 for serial number of shlok in that sarg 
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he shows Ram the mountainous remains of the demon Dundubhi, Ram throws to ten yojan the whole lot in a trice by one of his foot thumbs, but Sugriva still remains doubtful. When Ram threads with one arrow seven massive sal trees and the same arrow passing through a great mountain damages a portion of the netherworld, Sugriva becomes confident and takes him to the cave (1-1-67) like Kishkindha. When Vali was coming out hearing Sugriv’s roar, Tara cautioned him about Ram as Sugriv’s helper, but he didn’t listen to her. In duel with Sugriv, Ram killed Vali by one shaft only and made Sugriv the king. Sugriv gathers monkeys to locate Sita. On the advice of Sampathi, the elder brother of Jatayu, Hanuman leaps over one hundred yojan wide sea and arrives in Lanka where he finds Sita meditating in Ashoka vana. Offering Ram’s souvenir and his message to her, he smashes the tree arches of Ashok vana. He kills five army commanders, seven sons of ministers, Akshay son of Ravan, and finally get trapped in fetters which he was capable of destroying but he didn’t do that with an objective of meeting Ravan. He burns Lanka to ashes and reaches Ram with the message of Sita’s location. Ram arrives at seashore with monkeys and when sea-god doesn’t pay heed to his request, he tortures the sea with his arrow. Sea god appears and advises him to build a bridge with the help of Nal, and on completion of the bridge he crosses to Lanka and kills Ravan. When Sita is released, he expresses his apprehension to her about her chastity and asks her to enter into fire. When she enters into fire and fire god gives her back sanctifying her love to Ram, he rejoices meeting her. He enthrones Vibhishan and getting respects from gods and from their help reviving the dead monkeys to life boarding Pushpak he leaves for Ayodhya. On way he stops at Bhardwaj ashram and sends Hanuman to Bharat in advance. He leaves for Nandigram and reaching there he discards the hair-locks rejoicing the union with his brothers. He assumes the mantle of the king.” Concluding thus Narad predicts further to Valmiki, “The earth shall become joyful in complete social harmony, and free from all shortcomings, and diseases when Ram shall become the ruler. He will perform hundred aswmedha ygya and give precious gifts of gold and cows to Brahmins. Ruling for eleven thousand years he will depart to the divine abode. This Ramayan full with the glory of Ram, when recited shall prove a great redeemer and provider of auspiciousness in return to all four categories (varn known as Brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, shudra) of the society according to their status.” 1-2. Versatile Verse (43) :

On completion of Narad’s narration of the essence of Ramayan, Valmiki offered him great reverence with his disciples. Thereafter he left the place for his cosmic wandering. Valmiki with his disciple Bhardwaj left for river Tamasaa to take his bath. After his bath when he was changing his cloth on the river bank, his attention caught a sight of a pair of birds enjoying their conjugal life which didn’t last longer, and the male bird dropped dead by the cruel shaft of a hunter. The wailing cry of the female bird and beating herself again and again over the dead body of his life partner moved Valmiki to his core. On his own, instantly came out from his mouth the following verse in Sanskrit which is taken as the primordial composition (1-2-15) for all subsequent generation of literature.

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His disciple Bhardwaj and others picked up the glorious recitation immediately. Coming back to the ashram the sage’s mind was engaged in the scene and he continued brooding over his composition. In the meanwhile Brahma arrived and when his welcome and worshiping were over the sage was noticed engaged mentally as well as reciting the verse involuntarily. Brahma revealed to Valmiki that it was his divine wish that he composed that verse. He further mentioned, “As learnt from Narad you will compose the glorious legend of Ram to be known as Ramayan. Your composition will remain eternal so long as earth and the universe exists.” Brahma, concluding thus, vanished from there. Valmiki along with his disciples, for sometime after that continued reciting the verse, from beginning as well as in reverse order from end. He found the verse uniquely expressive and observing a set pattern of composition using simple syllable of words spread over four quarters which was not known earlier and was devised by Valmiki for the first time. 1-3. Ramayan composed (39)

As foretold by Brahma Valmiki commenced composing the Ramayan and all episodes and legends continued unfolding to him automatically through his meditative reflections. He sat east facing over a grass (kush) mat, purifying his hands with water, folding the palms together when he entered into reflective meditation all scenes of Ram, Lakshaman, Sita, Dasarth accompanied by his wives, flashed before him as if witnessing the real scene of exchange of smiles, conversation, and performances of Ram. He could see him accompanied by Sita in the forest besides the male company of his brother (Lakshaman). He composed as an author actualizing the legend of Ram as narrated to him by Narad.
It begins with the birth and incarnation of Ram and continues further sequentially which Valmiki described, “Besides of his several delighting anecdotes, he helped Viswamtira, broke the mighty bow and married Sita. Ram Prashuram meet, Dasarath plan to anoint him as king disrupted by Kakeyi leading to the death of Dasarath, deserting citizens, meeting Guha, returning the charioteer Sumanth, crossing Ganga, honouring Bhardwaj, coming to Chitrakoot, coming of Bharat, offering water oblation to father hearing about his death, Ram sandals enthroned by Bharat staying at Nandigram, Ram moving to Dandakranya, killing of Viradh, meeting sages Sarbhanga, Sutikshna, getting together of Sita and Anusuya, and offering of angrag by Anusuya to Sita, honouring Agastay and getting blessed by him with the gift of bow, Surpnakha and her defacing, end of Khara, Trishira incited Ravan, killing of Marich, abduction of Sita, anguished wailing of Ram, emancipating Jatayu, liberating Kavandh, moving to Pampa, getting honour of Shavari and obliging her by accepting her fruits, meeting Hanuman at Pampa, together with Sugriv at Rishymuka, end of Vali, grieving of Tara, crowning of Sugriv, spending rainy days with him, his anger causing Sugriv to collect a host of monkeys sending to all quarters, describing the global situation, sending ring (with Hanuman), coming to Rikska cave of monkeys and fast to death, seeing Sampathi, Hanuman’s leaping across sea from mountain top, meeting Mainak mountain, encountering demoness (Sursa), killing of Sinhika (shadow grabber), coming to mountain (Trikoota) of Lanka, entering at Night, visiting Ravan and his Pushpak, Sita’s glimpse in Ashoka vana, offering of ring to Sita and talking to her, watching misdeeds of demoness, hearing bad dreams of Trijata, accepting Sita ornament (for Ram), damaging garden, killing of guards,
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noose to Hanuman, burning Lanka, victorious blaring and coming back across sea, enjoying honey garden, delivering Sita’s ornament as solace to Ram, meeting Ram with Sea, bridging over sea by Nal, Laying siege of Lanka at night, joining of Vibhishan (1-3-35 : this sequence is not in Narad’s narration of Ramayan in first sarga), planning about end of demons, killing of Kumbhakarna, Meghnad, end of Ravan, retrieving Sita, enthroning Vibhishan, observing celestial Pushpak viman, honouring Bhardwaj on return journey to Ayodhya, sending Hanuman to Bharat, getting enthroned, disbanding monkey army, ruling to please the citizens, discarding Sita.” Ram’s stay on earth and all his legends are minutely

described by Valmiki in the epic. 1-4. Kush and Lav sang Ramayan (36)

Valmiki composed (1-4-2) twenty four thousand shloka (verse), contained in five hundred sarg (chapters) and forming six kand (books). There was a later piece of book also called Uttara kand. In fact, on completion, of the Ramayan containing glory of Sita establishing the end of Ram, when Valmiki was sitting in contemplative mood thinking as to who would sing these beautiful verses into melodious voice, two brothers Kusha and Lav came to him and touched his feet. They were handsome and like true images of Ram himself. Soon they learnt the entire Ramayan and gave a melodious voice in tune with the guitar. Once their presentation to the gathering of sages earned them glorious laurels and they were passing singing and playing guitar, through the royal thoroughfare, Ram spotted them and brought them with honour to the court. Giving them due respectful seat, and occupying himself his throne amidst his four brothers and ministers, enjoyed their melodious song of Ramayan accompanied by playing the guitar. Ram was greatly impressed by the entire set of excellently worded storeys, and showed greater interest in the portion of the song which covered the legend about Sita. On his request, the two singers, who were well versed in musical and singing art presented the song in special style of marga rhythm (1-4-36) as well. 1-5. Ayodhya – physical (23)

There was a kingdom called Koshal, which had valorous forefathers like Sagar whose sixty thousand sons dug up the ocean, Iksahavaku the gem of the dynasty. The capital of Koshal was Ayodhya, established by Manu, the first among human beings. The king Dasarath resided as Indra resided in Amravati. The city was situated on the bank of river Saryu spread over in the length of 12 yojan, and breadth of 3 yojan. The ramparts of the city were high and impregnable surrounded with moats. The layout of the city has ashtapadi (1-5-16) (octagonal) pattern, avenues swept and moist with water having flowers strewn all over. The houses had large setbacks and beautifully decorated and maintained. The cluster of gardens with mango groves enhanced the beauty of the city. The city had a host of hundreds of charioteers fully versed in the game of hunting the wild animals lions, tigers etc. using sonic-archery. Sages and ascetics surrounded the city with their hermitages performing ygya and observing the vedic practices.

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1-6.

Ayodhya – social (28)

The king of the city, Dasartha, was like Indra or Kuber, knower of all the religious and spiritual scriptures, veda, performer of all sorts of ygya, and known for eliminating enemies. He topped the list of Ikshavaku house of rulers for his several credits, viz., the fastest charioteer, the top-seeded archer, etc. The city was occupied by the people of riches, religious faith, and austerity. Nobody ws seen without a crown over the head. There was no scarcity of food, drink and other necessary daily items. No beggar was spotted. All the four classes of people resided in the city with full fervor of religion. They worshiped their deities, and sacrificial fire existed in all the houses. Kshatriya took care of the Brahmins, Vaishya worked in coordination with Kshatriya, and Shudra took care of all the three classes (1-6-19). The city had horses (1-6-22) from Kambhoj, Bahlik, Vanayuj and also from the region of river-beds. The elephants were from Vindhya, and the Himalayas (1-6-23/24/25), and were of the species of Iravata (of Indra), Anjana (of Varun), Vaman (of Yama), and Pundrika having connections to celestial lineages of gods. They were of different categories called Bhadra (for the use of king), Mandra and Mriga (for the use of other nobility and for carriers). Two yojan beyond the city was outer rampart as the strict security zone maintained by the king. 1-7. Ayodhya – administration (24)

On the physical world affairs, the king was assisted by eight ministers: Dhristi, Jayant, Vijay, Surashtra, Rashtravardhan, Akopa, Dharmpal, and Sumantr. They were all able austere, moralist, honest, valorous and compassionate. On the religious and spiritual front he had Vashisht and Vamdev the accomplished spiritual personalities to guide his path. Besides, he had other sages and Brahmins: Suygya, Jabali, Kashyap, Gautam, Markandey, Katyayan, Dhirgayu, and other ygya performing ritual experts of his ancestral legacy. The ministers had a high public moral and personal character. They were never overpowered by lust, passion or anger while handling the public issues. 1-8. Aswamedh ygya (24)

The king once reflected on having no sons and progeny and to get the son he thought of organizing aswamedh ygya. Having discussed with his ministers, the ablest one Sumantr was sent to invite his guru and Brahmins. When they arrived the king put his proposal which got full support from them. They advised him to commence it at once on the northern bank of Saryu and release the sacrificial horse. The king reminded the participants that if any fault is committed in the ritual and procedure of the ygya the brahm-rakshasha keep on look out of loopholes and would get success in disrupting it. Ministers and guru with Brahmins assured the king that as in the past this ygya would also be faultless and successful. Brahmans dispersed and the king also left the council for his inner palace. Reaching his wives he acquainted them with his intention which got a welcome acceptance from them.
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1-9.

Invitation to Rishyashring (20)

Sumantr revealed to the king, “ This relates to your getting the sons. Once Sanakadika had narrated a story to the sages in which they mention about inviting Rishyashring by you for getting the sons. The background story is that sage Kashyap had a son called Bivandak and his son was Rishyashring. Once in the Ang state of king Rompad, there was a severe drought, and on advice of Brahmins the king invited Rishyshring which fetched rains and the famine ended. The king offered his daughter, Shanta to the sage in gratitude (1-9-19 shlok also refers that Rishyashring is
son-in-law of Dasrath also. Some story relates Shanta to be Dasarath’s daughter being brought up by the king Roampad). Therefore you also have to invite him for sons.”

1-10.

Rishyashring (33)

Sumantr continues, “The sage Rishyashring had always stayed in the forest with his father sage Bivandak, and was totally unaware of the women and other worldly life style. On the advice of the Brahmins the king Rompad sent a group of most beautiful courtesans to impress the sage and get him in his kingdom. Those courtesans made their huts near to the area of the hermitage of Rishyshring. Once the sage saw the courtesans and getting impressed by them as some celestial beings invited them to his hermitage. He offered them proper respect. The courtesans fearing the arrival of Bivandak at the hermitage left the place leaving some tasty sweets as gift to the sage Rishyashring. The sage’s mind got engaged over them and next day he went to their place. The courtesans thus seduced him away from the forest gradually and brought him to the Ang region. As soon as the sage stepped in the Ang region heavy rains occurred. The king honoured the sage and offered him his daughter Shanta for his service. Thus onward Rishyshring stayed in Ang kingdom with Shanta.” 1-11. Rishyashring in Ayodhya (31)

Sumantr further related the story of the sages sanakadik what they had told, “In the dynasty of Ikshavaku there will a righteous and famous king Dasarath. He will go to king of Ang to invite Rishyashring who will grace his ygya causing birth of four valorous and mighty sons.” Hearing this Dasarth advised Sumantr to tell the story to Vashishth and he himself went inside the palace. Consequently, he moved with the ministers to Ang and passing several forests, when he reached there, the king Rompad greeted him warmly. After staying there for seven-eight days Dasarath requested Rompad, “I intend to perform ygya to be blessed with sons, and I invite Rishyshring to Ayodhya to grace the occasion.” Rompad readily extended his invitation to Rishyshring. Subsequently, the sage Rishyashring with Shanta left for Ayodhya and on arriving there they were extended royal warm reception, for which Dasarath had arranged in advance by sending a swift footed messenger from Ang when he had departed for Ayodhya with Rishyashring.
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1-12. Rishyshring consented to commence the ygya (22) After stay for some time, in the month of spring the King put his proposal to the sage Rishyshring to commence the ygya and the sage consented to make all the arrangements and set forth a free horse as a precursor to the ygya. The king sent Sumantr to invite sages Suygya, Vamdev, Jabali, Kashyap and his family priest Vashishtha. On the arrival the sages lauded the king’s proposal and advised to make all arrangements on the northern bank of Saryu where ygya would be performed lead by the sage Rishyashring. 1-13. Ygya commenced (41) On the commencement of next spring after one year, the king entered the ygya venue and the steps required to set forth the free horse were organized. Vashishtha addressed the Brahmins and other state workers and advised them to prepare the ygya venue with due diligence making all arrangements for stay of the invitee kings, sages, and their horses, elephants etc.” He asked Sumantr to invite the kings of the globe, all classes of people (Brahmins, kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra) with due respect to all. He advised him to go personally to invite the king Janak, king of Kashi, king of Kakeya who is father-in-law of Dasarth and his son, king of Ang Rompad, king of Koshal Bhanumant, king of Magadth Praptigya. He advised further to take permission of the king Dasarth to invite kings of Sindhu, Sauvir, Saurashtra, and kings of southern zone with kings of the earth. With swift action of Sumantr the kings arrived and offered valuable gifts to Dasarath. On arrival of the invitee kings, Vashishth invited Dasarth to commence the ygya in an auspicious muhurtha. Dasarth worshipped Vashishth, Rishyashringa and other sages and resolved to conduct the ygya. 1-14. Details of aswamedh Ygya (60) On completion of one year the horse came back to Dasarath. Ritiwika (priests leading the ritual procedures) honouring the assembled gods, performed pravrgya, and upsada. Then followed savan in the morning. In the mid day the sap of som creeper was used to perform the second savan and the third savan was also completed as per scriptural commands. All sages and Rishyashring invoked the presence of Indra and other gods. All the Brahmins and invitees were served tasty food and refreshment which they relished. The king had continuous inflow of invitees, and matching was the reception to them with relished food, and cloths. At the time of raising wooden posts, 6 bilb, 6 khadir, 6 parnin, 1 shleshmatak, 2 devdaru: total 21, each 21 cubit high were staked draped with shining cloths, gold, and gems. They looked like constellation of saptrishi worshipped with flowers and sandals. The queen Kaushlya performed the ritual of sacrificing the symbolic horse. The priests continued the sacrifice for three days. Selected and purified bricks wet with milk were used in preparing the fire quarters where oblations were poured. The

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shape of the fire quarter was identical to garuda with his extended wings and tails. First day sacrifice was called chatushtom, second day was ukthya, third day was atiratra. Although ashwamedh was completed in three days oblations but some more important ones were further conducted to ensure the blessings of the progeny and they were jyotishtom, ayushi, atiratra, abhijit, viswajit, aptoryam. Four groups of priests conducting the ygya were donated the kingdom: hota the east, adhvaryu the west, brahma the south, udgata the north. The Brahmins returned the kingdom to the king as he was capable to rule and Brahmins were engaged in teaching and learning. The king in lieu thereof offered them cows, gold, silver, and gems. The Brahmins surrendered all the gifts to Vashishth and Rishyshring. What they got back from those two chiefs of the ascetics, they distributed among themselves. The king prayed Rishyshring for conducting the ygya for his dynasty. When the sage mentioned that the king would be blessed with four valorous and righteous sons, the king went into ecstasy. 1-15. Son-seeking sacrifice (putrakameshti ygya) (34) Observing the hymns of Atharva veda (1-15-2) Rishyshring began the oblation for son-blessing sacrifice. The assembled gods accepted their part of offerings. The gods took the advantage of this special occasion and addressed to Brahma, “Due to your blessings, Ravan is torturing without fear all of us including the sages on earth. So fearsome is he that fire, wind, and ocean desert their natural characteristics when they face him. Find some way out for his elimination.” Brahma thinking aloud expressed, “I have blessed him immortality against yksha, gods, gandharva etc. but not against a human being. Let his eliminator be a human being.” In the meanwhile Vishnu mounting Garuda arrived. Gods offered their prayer and requested him to incarnate as son of Dasarath to eliminate Ravan. Vishnu consented to their prayer and assured them that he would incarnate in the house of Dasarath and after eliminating the demons lead by Ravan rule over there for eleven thousand years. 1-16. Dasarath blessed (32) When gods appreciated his assurance, Vishnu asked as to how, using what means the demon chief could be eliminated. The gods advised to kill him in war. After hearing from them that he was required to take birth in human form, he left the place. Soon after that ygya purusha appeared from the fire holding a golden pot with silver lid full of payasam. The ygya purusha was draped in red and black dress fully bejeweled and his face shining red like fire. He addressed Dasarath, “O, King, hold this and distribute them to your wives. They will bring forth sons for you.” Dasarath respectfully received the pot, and the divine being disappeared. The king came to his inner palace and gave half of the paysam to Kaushlya. Half of the half he gave to Sumirtra. He again made two parts of the balance and gave one half to Kaikeyi, and the other half again to Sumitra. The queens ate the divine payasam and in course of time the signs of pregnancy appeared on their body. The king was fully pleased to notice the pregnancy of his wives.
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1-17. Gods advent as monkeys (37) Brahma exhorted gods to help Vishnu in the mission of eliminating demons. He cited his own example when he had produced Jambvan, and similar to that the gods should also produce monkeys mighty and valorous. Gods following his advice produced: Vaali (Indra), Sugriv (Sun), Tara (Brihaspati), Nal (Viswakarma), Neel (Fire), Gandhmadan (Kuber), Mayand and Dvid from Aswinikumar, Sushen (Varun), Sharav (Thunder god), Hanuman (Vayu). Thousand more were multiplied from them and they spread over several forests and mountains. First they occupied mountain Rikshavat, and gradually they began spreading all over. They were capable of fighting mightiest elephants, lions and tigers. 1-18. Incarnation of four brothers and arrival of Vishwamitr (59) On conclusion of the ygya, the king bade farewell to the sages and invitee kings. Rishyashring with his wife Shanta and father-in-law Rompad left for their abode. The king with his wives entered the palace. On completion of one complete cycle of the six annual seasons, after the conclusion of the ygya, in the month of chaitra, on the ninth day of the bright fortnight, Aditi being the deity of the day’s ruling star punarvasu (1-18-9/12), when the five planets were exalted with Jupiter and Moon in ascendant cancer, Ram incarnated from Kaushlya representing half Vishnu. Bharat was born from Kaikeyi, in pushya nakshatra, in Pisces ascendant and he represented one quarter of Vishnu (1-18-15). Laskshaman and Shatrughan were born from Sumitra when the rising sun of the day was in ashresha nakshatra, and they complemented the full representation of Vishnu. (The disposition of stars suggests
that Ram was born in seventh star of the asterism, Bharat was born next day in the morning in the eight asterism, and Lakshaman and Shatrughn were born later in the day after Bharat in the ninth nakshatra).

The streets were strewn with flowers showered from celestial gods, gems stormed from royal palaces. The occasion was of great rejoicing and celebration. On the eleventh day Vashisth performed their naming ritual: Elder one Ram, next is Bharat, and the other two as Lakshman and Shatrughn. Hair tonsuring followed by investing with the sacred thread was celebrated on due time with offering of valuable gifts and feasts to Brahmins and citizens.
From the beginning Ram had affinity for Lakshaman, so much so that in his absence he won’t accept food. Bharat had similar affection for Shatrughan. The pair thus bonded together were seen together everywhere be it horse riding, forest hunting, or dining. In due course they learnt veda and scriptures along with mastery in archery.

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Once when the king was interacting with ministers in royal court about the marriage of his sons, the guard informed him of the arrival of Vishwamitr. The king moved forward with his priests to welcome the sage Vishwamitr. Offering him arghya (welcome water) he was given a high seat. Being greeted by Vashishth and others Vishwamitr kept on enquiring the general welfare of the state. The king, then offered to serve the sage, if he had arrived with some specific objective. 1-19. Vishwamitr sought Ram (19) The sage revealed, “ He has taken a spiritual vow and to complete that mission I am facing hIndrance from two demons Mareech and Subahu. It is time bound for ten days and during this vow I can’t show anger which would spoil my mission, otherwise I would have cursed them. I therefore seek the hands of your eldest son, who alone can restrain those two demons and I would be able to complete my mission. You discuss with your ministers and priest Vashishth about this and handover to me Ram.” 1-20. Dasarath refused to spare Ram ( 28) The king replied, “My son is not of sixteen either. I got him after sixty thousand years of my issueless life. How can he be able to face those mighty and cruel demons. Instead, I would go and fight with my army, but I can’t spare Ram.” When he asked the details of the demons, the sage expressed, “In the lineage of Pulstya, the great and mighty demon Ravan is the protector of those two demons Mareech and Subahu.” Hearing about Ravan the king lost his nerve and spoke, “ O, Sage, when I am not able to stand against Ravan, how can my son Ram would do that.” Dasarath lost his balance imagining the ferocities of the enemies and he became inconsistent in his statement finally refusing to spare Ram. 1-21. Dasrath brought around (22) Hearing refusal of Dasarth, the sage Viswamtira lost his cool and burst out, “I am going the way I came, but you rejoice in the glory of your dynasty for not keeping the words you gave me when I arrived here.” Hearing his wrathful resolve and ready to leave, Vashishth interfered and assured the king, “The sage Vishwamitra is in possession of potential missiles of prajapati Krisaasva. The daughters of prajapati were married to Krishasva, and Jaya and Suprabha beget mighty missiles. The missiles were handed over by Shiva himself to the sage Vishwamitr. Besides, his potential is infinite and he would enrich Ram with those mighty weaponry. He would also see that Ram is totally protected.” Hearing Vashishtha, Dasarth got reasons to consent to spare his son with Vishwamitra. 1-22. Ram, Lakshaman accompanied Vishwamitr (23) Dasarath himself brought his sons, Ram and Laskhaman and blessed by the mothers, father and guru Vashishth they moved forward following Vishwamitr. Gods showered flowers over them, celestial drums blared in their honour followed by the
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conch blaring in Ayodhya. Each one of the two brothers had two quivers perched over their shoulders protruding above the body looking like hoods of snakes. The sage looking like Shiva, lead a pair of trine-headed serpents, behind him. Having gone one and a half yojan the sage stopped on the southern bank of Saryu and addressed them, “Before sunset I must impart two potential mantra, bala and atibala to you. Although your divine potential is apparent still these mantra would help you against hunger, climatic vagaries, and unforeseen troubles in future.” With taking water in hand the sage offered bala and atibala to them and they spent their night on the bank of Saryu. 1-23. Further journey with Vishwamitr (22) Before the day break, the sage woke up the sleeping brothers from their grass bed reciting the following shlok (famous in vaishanvite tradition to lead all the morning recitations called suprabhatam).

On completing their daily spiritual offerings they set out further. Going ahead they came to a hermitage on the confluence of the Ganga and Saryu, where several mendicants were engaged in meditation. Vishwamitr explained to them, “It is a sacred place where Shiva used to meditate. When the god of passion, Kam, tried to interrupt Shiva’s meditation, the enraged eyes of Shiva burnt Kam to ashes. Later he was given back life but without any formal body, and thereafter he is called Anang.” They stayed there for night being greeted by the sages of the hermitage. At night they entered the hermitage after taking ablution in the Ganga and completing the sandhya gayatri. Vishwamitr narrated several delighting stories at night. 1-24. Forest of Tataka (32) In the morning after performing sandhya gayatri they were escorted by the mendicants to a boat to cross the confluence. In the midst of stream they heard a tumultuous sound coming out of flowing water. On Ram’s enquiry Vishwamitr related thus, “Saryu comes out of a sar (lake), called manas, created by brahma over mount Kailas. The sound is from the Saryu when meeting the Ganga here.” On getting down on the southern shore of the confluence they moved ahead and entered a deep and desolated forest. Vishwamitr revealed, “This forest was earlier full of lives and riches. Indra when afflicted by sin of killing Vritra demon who was a Brahmin, was freed of his sin here by the efforts of sages and gods who were trying to purify him with sacred water. Indra pleased with his liberation from the sin blessed this land and called it malada and karush which mean filth and sin of human beings. Since he got freedom from the filth and sin he called them thus. The demoness
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Tataka wife of Sund, and her son Mareech haunt this forest often. Tatak is yakshi and is alone as mighty as thousand elephants. Mareech is a fearsome strong warrior. You have to be on alert, against them from now onwards.” 1-25. Misdeeds and curse of Tataka (22) Ram queried, “Yaksh are trivial beings, how come she commands such a mighty strength of thousand elephants ?” Vishwamitr narrated the strory, “Once yaksh Suketu worshipped Brahma to get a progeny. He blessed him with a daughter charming and beautiful and she was Tataka. She was married to Sund, and she begot a son Mareech, a mighty warrior. They together used to intimidate sages, and once Agastya was in their trap. He cursed them to become demon and man eater. Tataka lost the grace of a beautiful woman and since then she and Mareecha under curse of Agstya have become havoc to mankind. No one except you can face them. Don’t hesitate eliminating a woman for she is a sinner. Remember, Indra had to eliminate Manthra daughter of Virochana who was went upon destroying the earh. Similarly Vishnu eliminated mother of Shukracharya, wife of Bhrigu, who was committed to wipe off Indra from his existence. You are the prince, of the territory and the welfare of the people is to be ensured by you.” 1-26. End of Tataka (36) Assuring the sage that two brothers were obedient to him, Ram sounded the string of his bow. Hearing the frightening sound, Tataka rushed towards him in rage. She began showering stones and boulders over them. With the daunting sound of Vishwamitr the calamity halted away from them, but he exhorted them to eliminate her. Ram shooting his shaft cut off her arms, and Laskhamn mutilated her face by cutting her ears and nose, but she using her magical power, kept raining the stones and boulders. “It is going to be dusk soon, and afterwards she would be invincible, “ Said Vishwamitr. Ram using his sound-tracking shaft hit her in the chest and she dropped dead over ground. Gods, Indra and others felicitated Ram over his performance. They urged Vishwamitr to handover the missile of Krisaasva to empower them further. They spent their night in Tataka forest as the forest had regained the erstwhile grandeur and luster after the end of Tataka. 1-27. Vishwamitr bestowed divine missiles (28) When they got up in the morning, in Tataka forest, Vishwamitr invited Ram with sweet words, “ I am highly impressed by your performance. I am in command of several divine ashtra (missiles) and other weaponry under the control of various gods. I want to hand over them to you which will reinforce your potential when you need them in future.” The ashtra were as follows: dand chakr, dharm chakr, kal chakr, Vishnu chakr, Indra chakr, Shiva’s shul (trident), brahmshir, aishiki (dry blade), brahmashtra, two maces : modaki and shikhari, dharmpash, kalpash, varunpash, two bolts: shusk (drier), ardra (drencher), pinak (of Shiva), narayan, shikhari and pratham of air god, hayashir, kronch, two numbers of shakti.
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Those used by demons and to counter them: kankal musal (pounder), two numbers ghor (rods) :kapal and kinkin. Favourties of gandhava: vaidyadhara, mohan (stupifier), prasvapan, prasaman, varshan, soshan, santapan, vilapan, manav, Applicable against pishach ( like demons): mausal, saty, mayamay, mohan, tamas, sauman, samvart,

Other missiles: solar (sungod): tejprabha; lunar (moon-god): shishir ; twasta:sudarun; bhag:darun; manava:shiteshu Introducing thus the above said weapons to Ram, the sage Vishwamitr sitting east facing offered them to Ram reciting the divine invoking hymns of each of them. The controlling respective gods appeared there, and submitted to Ram for acceptance. Ram welcoming them gave his full respects to the respective gods of the missiles and advised them to leave for now and spoke, “whenever I need you in future you should appear and perform. “ Thereafter Ram showed his deep reverence to Vishwamitr for offering him divine weapons and they left for further journey. 1-28. Counter weapon to Ram (22) Ram further enquired for the counter weapons and Vishwamitr readily offered him a host of weapons in command of Krishasva: satyvant, stykriti, dhrist, rabhas, pratiharatar, paranmukh, avangmukh, dhridanabh, sunabh, dashaksh, shatvaktra, dasashirsha, satudra, padmanabh, mahanabh, dundnabh, svanabh,jyotish, sakun, nairasya, vimanl, yaugandhar, vinidra, daitya, pramadhan, suchibahur, mahabahur, nishakli, viruchar, sarchimali, dhritamali, vrittiman, ruchir, pitrya, saumanas, vidhut, maker, pravira, rati, dhan, dhanayau, kamrup, kamruchi, moham, avaranam, jimbhrik, sarpnath, panthan, varan. The gods of the missiles appeared in different forms as they were capable of changing their form during attack time. Some of them were in the form of smoke, moonlight, folded palm, etc. Ram thanked them and advised them to go back their natural resort and appear when he invoked them. They gave a round to Ram and left. Moving ahead, Ram noticed a dense forest having flocks of charming birds, and varieties of animals, and enquired Vishwamitr about that. 1-29. Siddh ashram (32) The forest is around siddh ashram where Vishnu practiced meditation for hundreds of years. Later it was possessed by his Vaman incarnation. Virochan’s son, Bali was the demons’ emperor who had vanquished Indra, Vayu and others and had become
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famous in the three worlds. He commenced a vedic ygya. Gods keeping fire- god as their leader approached Vishnu and prayed for early restraining of Bali. In the meanwhile Kashyap and Aditi had completed their meditation here in this ashram and in their vision got the Narayan enquiring them. They sought him to be born as younger brother of Indra and regain the lost glory of gods on the hands of Bali. Narayan responded positively and appeared as a radiant dwarf, Vaman. He went to Bali and won the three worlds in three steps as a gift from the demon emperor. He then gifted the worlds to Indra and gods were restored to their earlier status. Vishwamitr said, “This siddh ashram has become the place of accomplishment for me also. But here demons create several obstructions in successful completion of ygya. You need to safeguard our mission here.” Vishwamitr lead two brothers inside the ashram as if moon was accompanied by two favorite asterism of punarvasu and pukhya. The resident sages welcome them with due reverencce. Ram assured the sage to commence the ygya and maintained vigilance overnight successfully. Next morning when Ram and Lakshman were ready from their daily ritual of worship, Vishwamitr ignited the ygya fire in the altar. 1-30. ygya a success (26) When Vishwamitr was engaged in the ygya activities, Ram wanted to know what time did demons attack. The sages around him told, “Until completion of ygya Vishwamitr maintains silence. This ygya is completed in six days and six nights.” Hearing that Ram and Lakshman maintained the vigil and it was last day that they heard loud noise in the sky which was coming out of the assemblage of demons over the siddh ashram. Ram used the manav arrow and Mareech was thrown hundred yojna away in the ocean. Using his second arrow vayu-ashtra he killed and eliminated the other demons lead by Subahu. On completion of ygya Vishwamitr expressed his obligation to Ram and praised his performance. Thus praising Ram, the evening arrived, and they began preparations for attending to sandhya worship. 1-31. On way to Mithila: Night halt near shon river (24) Next morning after completing the morning worship, Ram with brother Lakshaman came to Vishwamitr and enquired whether he has any further command for them. The sages assembled there informed Ram, “We have got an invitation to attend a ygya being performed by the king, Janak. We would like that you may also come with us where you may have an opportunity to see the mighty divine bow in possession of the king. His forefather, Devarat had obtained that bow from gods after performing a vedic ygya. (The bow belonged originally to Shiva and he gave it to gods, and from them it came to the house of Mithila) The bow is worthy of a glimpse as it is tough to string for a common human being. On special occasions it is open to public view otherwise it is worshipped with due rituals everyday inside the palace.” Vishwamitr set out assuming the tacit consent of Ram and Lakshaman to accompany him. His accompanying sages came out of the hermitage with hundreds of carts full of their belongings. They paid respect to the local forest gods for their cooperation in
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completing the ygya successfully. The birds and animals of the siddh ashram came out to bid farewell to Vishwamitr. The sage returned with due respect to the hermitage. On moving ahead when the day came close to end, they camped on the bank of the river shon. Ram being impressed by the prosperity of the area enquired more details about that. 1-32. Vishwamitr’s forefather (26) There was a saintly king Kush who was married to the princess of Vidarbha and was blessed with four sons: Kushamb, Kushanabh, Asurtrajas, and Vasu. On his command to be righteous in rule, his four sons established four cities Kaushabmi, Mahodaya, Dharmarany, and Girivrajam respectively. Vishwamitr continued, “This place where we are now belonged to Vasu, and the river is called Maagadhi promoting the agricultural yield of this area and encircles the five high rise mountains of this area. Kushanabh was blessed with one hundred charming daughters. Once impressed by their beauty air-god sought directly with them to marry all of them and bestow divinity upon them. They refused saying that they would go by the decision of their father and not on their own. Feeling humiliated air-god caused them to lose their graceful physique. When those cursed girls came back home, father Kushnabh seeing their ugly form asked as to how all that happened.” 1-33. Vishwamitr’s forefather…..continued (26 ) Vishwamitr further continued, “Those girls narrated what had happened with air-god. The king patiently lauded their righteousness and pardoned air-god. Kushnabh began looking for a fit groom to marry them. There was a upright celibate sage Chuli who impressed by a maiden Somda blessed her with a brilliant son called Brahmdat who became also very righteous and famous. Brahmdat established his mighty kingdom at Kampilya. Kushnabh approached him to marry his hundred daughters and he agreed. When the marriage was being solemnized, by simple touch of hands of Brahmdat to those girls their deformities vanished and they got back their initial charm. Kushinabh was very happy and accorded them a warm send off with Brahmdat. The mother of Brahmdat, Somda was very happy to see one hundred daughter-in-laws and also with the power of his son who eliminated air-god’s curse from those girls. “ 1-34. Vishwamitr’s forefather……continued (23 ) Continuing the narration Vishwamitr said, “Kushinabh performed a son-blessing ygya for he had no son. His father Kush who was brain child of Brahma, predicted to him that he would be blessed with a righteous son and left for brahmalok. In course of time, Kushinabh got blessed with a son called Gaadhi.”

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Vishwamitr disclosed, “I am the son of Gaadhi. I have one elder sister called Styavati, who is married to the sage Richik, and she in her physical form got into heaven. However later for the benefits of the worldly people she transformed herself into the river called Kaushiki having genesis in the Himalayas. I used to stay in her vicinity in the Himalayas. It is for this vow, that for some time, I was away from her and got my ygya completed at siddh ashram with your cooperation.” Saying thus indicating the lapse of night almost to midnight, Vishwamitr asked Ram to take rest. All thereafter slept on the bank of the river Shon. 1-35. Story of the Ganga (24)

Before the day break, Vishwamitr waked Ram (1-35-2) and advised to make preparations for further journey. After daily ritual they set out and after a half day travel they arrived near the river Ganga. After offering the day’s oblations to fire, and taking mid day food, Ram requested the sage to narrate the legend about the Ganga. Vishwamitr narrated, “Himvan, the mountain chief, had two daughters from his wife, Mena, the daughter of Meru. The elder daughter was Ganga and the younger was Uma. On gods request Ganga was gifted to them and she was taken to heaven. 1-36. Uma’s curse to gods and earth (27)
Ram further asked the sage as to how she got name of tripathga. On hearing him, the sage began the story first of Uma and Shiva. Shiva and Uma, immediately after their divine wedding, were engaged in yogic copulation and in this process over one hundred celestial years elapsed. Seeing no offspring coming out of the divine couple even after they maintained prolonged copulation, Gods became afraid that who would be able to endure the birth of an offspring after such a long period of copulation. Gods anticipating very unusual situation of Uma not able to bear the womb, approached Shiva and advised him to restrain from further copulation. Shiva responded positively, and he dropped his agitated semen over the earth which inundated the forests and mountains. Fire god with the help of wind god was able to absorb the flood which had taken a shape of huge white-mountain. This was used later for the birth of Kumar. Uma was angry over gods, because it was on gods’ intervention that his consort discontinued the copulation. She cursed gods to remain issueless. Because the earth bore the semen, Uma cursed her also that she would have several husbands and her face would be disfigured by irregularity of mountains, rivers and oceans.

1-37. Birth of Kartikeya (32) Gods lead by Indra prayed Brahma for a commander-in-chief of their army to fight out demons. They mentioned about the Uma-Shiva incident and her curse upon

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them. Brahm justified her action and advised them to go to fire-god to use the Shiva’s semen to impregnate Ganga, the elder sister of Uma. Fire-god, hearing the Brahma’s command approached Ganga who readily consented to the proposal. She became pregnant but was unable to bear the heat of the radiant brilliance of the embryo which came originally from Shiva and got enhanced from the association of Fire-god. The embryo was then, on the consent of Fire-god, ejected in the forest of the Himalaya. Gods advised the star Krittika to feed the newly born baby. She did that and the newly born child grew into six heads to suckle milk from all the six entities of the Krittika. In one day he blossomed into full youth. All the gods lead by Fire-god arrived there and crowned him as the commander-in-chief of the gods’ army. He was named variously Kumar, Kartikeya and Skanda. His name Skanda is because of “skann” which means “semen skipped”, and Kartikeya because he was fed by Krittika in his infancy. Vishwamitr concluded, “I have described thus to you the story of Ganga who gave birth to Kumar (kumar sambhav, 1-37-31 ) who is variously called Kartikeya and Skand. Those who become his devotee shall attain worldly pleasure of being blessed with sons, longevity and would reach his celestial abode upon death.” 1-38. Sons of king Sagar (24) Vishwamitr continued narrating, “O Ram, long back, in your dynasty, there was a king named Sagar. He had no issue. He had two wives, one named Keshini daughter of Vidarbha king, the other Sumati, daughter of Aristhnemi and sister of Garuda. The king undertook a great penance on one of the Himalyan mountains called Bhrigu Prvarshan. Pleased by his penance, sage Bhrigu blessed him to have one son from Keshini who will be the ancestor of the dynasty, and sixty thousand mighty and energetic sons from Sumati. In course of time Keshini gave birth to a son who was named Asamanj. He picked up a peculiar habit of throwing the young children in the water of Saryu and enjoying their death by drowning. The king banished him out of his territory for the cruel nature of killing children. Later it his son Anshuman who became the glorious king in the dynasty. Sumati delivered a large egg-shell which burst into sixty thousand tiny eggs and they after being quarantined in pitchers of ghee, brought fourth sixty thousand children; with the passage of time they all grew into strong and energetic princes. After some time the king Sagar resolved to perform ashwamedh ygya and accordingly preparations commenced. 1-39. Auspicious horse stolen (26) Ram being engrossed in the story of his forefathers, requested the sage to continue the details further. The sage narrated, “There are two large mountain ranges Himalaya (father-in-law of Shiva) and Vindhya; both peer each other. The venue of
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ygya was selected on the ground between them. While Anshuman, the great charioteer and archer was guard of the auspicious horse, on the second day of the vedic ritual the auspicious horse was stolen by Indra disguised as a demon. The priests conducting the ritual exhorted the king to early retrieve the horse failing which the occurrence of inauspicious events would haunt all of us. Listening their command, the king urged his sixty thousand sons who were mighty ones to scour the earth and find out the horse. He also asked to share among them one squre yojan of earth to each so that sixty thousand square yojan of landmass was dug up simultaneously until the horse was located. The grandson of the king Sagar, Anshuman remained with him at the vedic venue. The multitude of princes finding no trace of horse over entire Jambu dweep began digging down the earth and continued moving to lower levels. This caused harm to several subterranean lives and their respective gods gathered around Brahma to relieve them from the action of those mighty princes.” 1-40. Sagar’s sixty thousand sons burnt to ashes (30) Brahma consoled them, “The lord and protector of earth is Vasudev and earth is divine consort of Madhav. These days he is in the form of Kapila meditating in the netherworld and his wrath would burn them to ashes.” On hearing from Brahma coming of their end soon all the thirty three gods bowing to Brahma came back fully relieved. Those princes while digging the earth from all sides reached a common place where all gathered together. Since they didn’t find the horse after digging to that extent of the earth they went back to the king Sagar and intimated about not locating the horse even after digging the earth to its subterranean level. The enraged king commanded them to dig further and go to rasatal and locate the horse by hook or by crook. As commanded by his father they again resumed their digging further to rasatal (rasatal is one of the seven subterranean world in the order of depth from the earth surface : atal, vital, sutal, talatal, rasatal, patal). In this process they encountered Virupaksh, the mountain dikpal of the eastern side. In reverence they gave a round to Virupaksh dikpal and moved further.

It is said the earth quake (1-40-15) mostly happens because of movement in the eastern mountain dikpal. Scouring towards rasatal they went south and met Mahapdma mountain dikpal, and on moving towards west they got Saumanas mountain dikpal. On the northern side they met Bhadr dikpal, a snow mountain. Paying their respects to the dikpal they scoured north-east and reached the hermitage of Kapila. To their pleasant surprise they spotted the ygya horse grazing around. Holding the horse in their possession they suspected Kapila to be the culprit and addressing harsh words they rushed towards to him. The sage, to protect
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himself against their attack, produced great nasal sound exhaling the breath(breathing out - hunkar), and all the mighty princes turned into the heaps of burnt ashes. 1-41. Anshuman found the horse (26) Waiting for long time, the king Sagar asked his grandson, “Your uncles are not coming back, go with your bow and sword and find out the horse”. Anshuman found the route created by his uncles, and met on way the four dikpal whom when he saluted blessed his return soon with the horse. Moving further he could see the heaps of ashes and the horse grazing nearby. He wanted to offer the water oblation to his uncles but no water was available. In the meantime he saw the mount of Vishu, Garuda, the maternal uncle of his father. Garuda spoke to him, “Yours uncles have been victim of sage Kapila and they would only be emancipated by the holy water of Ganga, the elder daughter of Himvan. You go with the horse and let your father conclude the ygya and thereafter arrange to get Ganga to emancipate those prices.” Anshuman swiftly came back with the horse and narrated to his grandfather, the king Sagar what had happened and how Garuda had helped him. After concluding the ygya, the king thought much about the bringing of Ganga but he couldn’t and after thirty thousand years he left for heavenly abode. 1-42. Brahma blessed Bhageerath (25) Anshuman living for thirty two thousand years departed for heaven. His son Dilip also lived for thirty two thousand years and went to heaven but couldn’t get Ganga down to earth. Bhageerath son of Dilip undertook a severe penance for thousands of years standing inside five-fires and Brahma appeared before him asking for boons. He sought two boons: (i) to get Ganga on earth for emancipation of his grand fathers, and (ii) for a child since he was issuelss.” Brahma granted him two boons and advised him to pray Shiva to hold the thrust of Ganga falling from heaven for the earth was incapable of containing the mighty fall. 1-43. Ganga descended (41) Bhageerath engaged for one year in deep penance pleased Shiva who received Ganga over his head. While coming down Ganga had a pride of sweeping away Shiva,
who sensing her ego, arrested her in his endless hair locks for pretty long time. Again Bhageerath prayed Shiva and he dropped her in Bindu lake from there came out seven streams; three in the east: ahladini, pavini, nalini; three in the west: suchakshu, seetha, sindhu, and one behind Bhageerath in the south. On way the holy river absolved several sinners
off their sins who moved to heaven. Thus gushing behind the chariot of Bhageerath she inundated the ashram of the sage Jahnu. Enraged sage, on her audacity, drank her away completely. On the request of gods and sages Jahnu released her from his ears, and thereafter she came to be known as jahnavi. Streaming behind Bhageerath, she reached the confluence of ocean from where down below in

the netherworld, the Bhargeerath’s grandfathers ashes were lying. Her touch emancipated them to heaven.

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1-44. Water oblation by Bhageerath ( BagaIrqa ) (23) While Bhageerath with Ganga was at the site of princes in ash, Brahma appeared and lauded Bhageerath for fetching Ganga to the earth. He advised him, “Take bath in the water and offer oblation to your parents. The deed which you performed could not be performed by any of your forefathers even if they were very capable. The credit goes to you only.” Saying thus Brahma went away to his abode. Bhageerath also performing the rituals came back to his kingdom. Vishwamitr concluded the legend about Ganga since evening had set in and it was time for sandhya. Before closing he mentioned that those who listen the legend of descent of Ganga would be blessed with his cherished desires in life. 1-45. Ocean churning (samudra manthan) (45) Getting up next morning and on completion of the normal worship Ram expressed, “ Lakshaman and me spent the night like one moment reflecting the performance of Bhageerath fetching Ganga to this world.” Later, they crossed the Ganga by boat brought by local hermits in honour of Vishwamitr. Arriving on the northern side of the Ganga they could spot a city called Vishala. Ram politely submitted to know the details about that city. Vishwamitr mentioned that it was inhabited by Indra. Story goes that Sage Kashyap had two wives Diti and Aditi. Both were daughters of Daksha. From Diti demons were born and from Aditi gods were born. Both demons and gods wanted to be immortal and for this they needed ambrosia. They began exploring the ambrosia and launched a joint venture of churning the ocean. One hundred and eight hooded snake’s king, Vasuki was used as a stirring rope and mandrachal was the stirrer. After lapse of some years of churning, Vasuki getting fed up of friction of rotating the stirrer began vomiting deadly poison which created great havoc. Gods rushed to Shiva for help and Vishnu also appeared there at that time. He praised Shiva and advocated on behalf of gods to help them. Saying that he disappeared. Shiva helped them by consuming the poison. When the churning resumed the stirrer began sinking downward. On the request of gods, Vishnu in the form of a tortoise held the stirrer mandrachal in stable condition. He also held and pressed by his own hand the top of mandrachal to keep it stable. On years of churning Dhanvantri, the doyen of life science (ayur ved) appeared with dand (arm resting stick) and kamandal (cylindrical water pot) in his hands. Next, celestial girls came out of the churning. They were sixty million including their attendants. some of them accepted to be consort of gods, and some accepted demons while others remained unallied to anyone. Then came out Varuni, the daughter of Varun who rejected by demons was accepted by gods. Varuni literally means liquor (sura), and since demons didn’t accept her, they were named asura, and gods accepting her became sura. Further products coming out of the churning were ucchaishrva (horse), and kaushtabha (diamond) followed by ambrosia (amrit). For the possession of amrit both sura and asura began fighting which continued for hundreds of years. Vishnu appeared in the form of a charming woman, Mohini, and took the possession of amrit
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as both of them surrendered before her majestic personality. Gods came out victorious in the war and Indra being their leader ruled over all the worlds. 1-46. Indra tried to destroy Diti’s womb (23) In the war of gods and demons the loss was more on demons’ side. Diti the mother of demons prayed her husband Kashyap to bless her with a son to kill Indra as he killed her several sons. Kashyap asked her to maintain one thousand years austerity if she wanted a son of her choice. She agreed and patting her Kashyap left for his penance. She then moved into the place called kushplva to undertake her austere penance for son. “That place kushplva is this Vishala city” , said Vishwamitr to Ram. He continued the story further that Indra came to serve Diti. It was about ten years left that Diti revealed to Indra, “I have completed the vow and now only after ten years I would deliver a son who would be world winner. Indra, if you keep him in confidence, you two together can rule the universe.” It so happened that during mid day, once she fell asleep while her head was on foot-side of the cot. Taking this opportunity as breach in her austerity, Indra entered her womb and began splitting the foetus into pieces by his multi-edged bolt. On being split the foetus began weeping bitterly on which Indra forbade them to weep and split them into seven pieces. Diti awoke and she began crying, “The foetus is not worthy of killing.” Hearing that Indra dropped out of her womb holding blood stained bolt in his hand. He told her that since she breached austerity he split the foetus into pieces who was supposed to kill me in war field. 1-47. More about Vishal city (22) Diti accepted her lapse in the austerity and didn’t find any fault with Indra. She asked him, “Let the seven of them be divine gods. As Indra told them in womb “ma rud, ma rud” which meant “don’t weep……”, so they would be known by name marud. They all would be wind god and one of them would be positioned in Brahma lok, second one with you, the third one in the entire universe and the balance four shall rule the wind movement in four cardinal directions.” Agreeing to her proposal both left this place for heavenly abode. Vishamitra continued, “This place of austerity of Diti where Indra served her, was later occupied by the king Ikshavaku (other than solar dynasty of Ram) whose son from his wife Malubisha was called Vishal and he established this city. From Vishal came the lineage like this: Hemchandra, Suchandra, Dhumrashwa, Srinjay, Sahdev, Kushasva, Somdatt, Kakutasth, and Sumati.” The sage told, “ The last one Sumati is now the king of the city. We will stay here tonight and tomorrow we will go to see the king Janak.” In the meantime, the king Sumati learnt about the arrival of Vishwamitr and he came to greet the sage.

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1-48. Legend of Ahlya (33) King Sumati after welcoming and offering his prayer to the sage Vishwamitr wanted to know about Ram and Lakshaman who prevailed upon his attention. Vishwamitr introduced them as sons of king Dasarath and they had come to help him perform ygya at siddhashram after killing the demons. Sumati accorded a warm royal welcome to Ram and Lakshaman. Next day receiving warm send off Vishwamitr moved towards Mithila. On way, on the outer access to Mithila, they passed through a hermitage which was attractive but desolate. Ram enquired about that. Vishwamitr narrated, “ Gautam and his wife Ahlya stayed here for meditation. Once Indra in the guise of Gautam entered the hermitage and requested Ahlya for copulation. Ahlya could realize that the disguised person was Indra but not her husband Gautam. She still consented and when Indra was coming out of the hermitage, Gautam arrived after river bath carrying ygya wood and grass in his hands and body wet with water. He could spot Indra and cursed him for assuming his form and copulating with his wife. By his curse, the testicles of Indra fell on the ground. The sage then cursed his wife Ahlya to remain there invisible smeared with dust remaining on air without food and water for a long period until Ram came to liberate her. Saying thus he went to Himalaya.” 1-49. Ahlaya’s emancipation (22) Indra appealed to fellow gods for he had lost his testicles due to curse of Gautam. The gods lead by fire-god went to the god of birth, Prajapti. He advised to transplant the testicle of sheep to Indra. Accordingly Indra got the testicles of sheep. Vishwamitr advised Ram to enter the ashram and liberate her. When Ram entered the asharm, she became visible to both the brothers and they touched her feet in reverence. Realizing the end of her plight and advent of Ram, She rose and offered proper ritual respect by arghya, and padya. At the same time, Gautam also arrived there and became united with his wife and expressed his obligation to Ram for making his words true. Thereafter Vishwamitr moved towards Mithila. 1-50. Janak greeted Vishwamitr (25) Vishwamitr accompanying Ram and Laskhamana reached the venue of ygya situated in north-east of Mithila. Seeing the venue Ram expressed his high impression where hundreds of Brahmins were engaged for the success of the vedic ritual. All of the ygya related priests were given due place of stay. Vishwamitr also selected one quiet place near water body for their stay. Janak heard about the arrival of Vishwamitr. He came with many priests lead by Shatanad to greet him. When the initial procedure of welcome was over and all were seated, Janak wanted to know about the two young charming persons Ram and Lakshaman accompanying the sage. Vishwamitr introduced, “They are the sons of king Dasarath. With their assistance I could perform my ygya and they killed the demons. On way they had

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visited city of Vishal, and thereafter, emancipated Ahlya. They are here to have glimpse of the great bow of Shiva.” 1-51. Shatanand elaborated on Vishwamitr ( 28) Shatanad being the eldest son of Gautam and Ahlya, praised Ram and Vishwamitr for showing grace on his mother. He continued to introduce in detail about Vishwamitr who fortunately blessed Ram with his ascetic potential. Shatanand continued, “The brain child of Prajapati was Kush whose son was Kushnabh. Gadhi was the son of Kushnabh and from Gadhi is born Vishwamtir. He ruled as a great king for thousands of years. Once while roaming around with his royal entourage he happened to sight the hermitage of Vashishtha which was a virtual new world where scores of ascetics viz., Balkhlya, Vaikhanas among many others were seen engaged in offering oblations into fire. The hermitage was a retiring friendly place for herds of animals, birds and other wild creatures forgetting their natural enmity. The place was full of varieties of fruits bearing trees. Nothing was seen wanting there.” 1-52. Shatanand continued on Vishwamitr ( 23) Vashishth accorded proper welcome to the king Vishwamitr. When occupied their respective seats, they exchanged enquiries of welfare of each side. Vashishth offered initially fruits and water to treat his guest and requested further to stay at the hermitage and he would make all efforts to provide royal facilities. First Vishwamitr thanked him and asked for leave but when repeated for stay by Vashishth he accepted his invitation. Vashishth invoked the celestial cow Shabala to take proper care of the sage among kings, Vishwamitr and his royal entourage accompanying him. 1-53. Shatanand continued …..Seeking of celestial cow (25) The entire entourage of Vishwamitr received due royal greetings and were highly satisfied by the hospitality of Vashishth. Vishwamitr spoke to Vashishth, “I including my ministers, army, royal ladies and armies are glad with your hospitability. I seek the transfer of this cow to me and in return I can give one million cows.” Vashishth didn’t agree for that barter and said, “This cow is my life. All my vedic practices are due to her. She is my swaha, swasta, homa, japa and all. I can’t spare her.” Vishwamitr again sought the cow and offered 14 thousand elephants, 800 chariots, 1100 horses, 10 million cows all duly decorated with gold and gems. He also offered to meet the unlimited demand for gold and gems in lieu of this cow. Vashishth very clearly denied sparing the cow at any cost. 1-54. Shatanand continued…….Vishwamitr fought for the cow (23) Vishwamitr grabbed the cow forcibly. When the cow saw her being dragged by the royal forces she piteously looked to Vashsisth and spoke as to why he deserted her. She freed herself from them and came running to Vashishth. Lying on his feet she asked, “What is my fault that you discarded me?” The sage replied, “No, nothing, no
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fault of yours. It is the forceful act of Vishwamitr, he is dragging you away from me. I am helpless against the royal strength.” The cow reminded Vashisth, “The potential of a sage is unbeatable and he can’t win me from you.” Vashishth asked her to produce the forces to fight the royal army. The cow did that by her nasal sound and hundreds of pahalva forces came out and destroyed completely the army of Vishwamitr. Seeing that Vishamitr became angry and taking that as a challenge defying his status he began charging his mighty missiles destroying the forces produced by the cow. The cow then produced ferocious shaka and yavana fully equipped to fight Vishwamitr. The king using his missiles scattered the newly created forces. 1-55. Shatanand continued………..Vishwamitr took to penance (28) Again the cow brought forth the reinforcements from her various parts of the body varieties of warriors and that destroyed the royal army of Vishwamitr. Hundreds of sons of Vishwamitr rushed to Vashith in retaliation. The nasal sound of the sage burnt them to ashes. Lost immensely at the hands of Vashishth, Vishwamitr offered the kingdom to his one surviving son and went to forest to please Shiva by his penance. When Shiva appeared and asked for boon, he asked for all weapons in possession of all sorts of creatures on the earth to come in his possession. Shiva granted him all. Vishwamitr came forth to the hermitage of Vashishth and used the rare weapons to destroy completely the hermitage. The birds, animals, priests and sages began running away from there. Although Vashishth asked the fleeing sages and ashram inhabitants to stay, it was in vain. Soon the hermitage of Vashishth became a desolated and deserted place. Enraged sage then took his ascetic rod in his hand which looked like the fire-ball of the ultimate end of time and universe. 1-56. Shatanand continued ……..Vishwamitr grounded (24) Vishwamitr used all sorts of missiles, shafts, tridents, chakra on Vashishth but all were absorbed by his ascetic rod. Lastly Vishwamitr charged Brahma’s missile and that too diffused in front of the sage. Vashishth body began glowing with radiance of his potency which was unbearable for the universe. Gods and sages prayed him to calm down. Vishwamitr condemned his fighting potentiality and surrendered before the radiance of an ascetic. 1-57. Shatanand continued …….Trishanku met Vashishth (22) Vishwamitr went towards the southern side and under took a severe penance. Pleased with his penance, Brahma appeared and blessed him to be raj-rishi (king among sages). Vishwamitr was dejected since after such a hard penance he couldn’t win the title of brahm-rishi from Brahma, and again resumed his peance for the higher goal. In the meanwhile, a king of Ikshavaku dynasty, Trishanku, came to Vashishth and expressed his desire to perform such ygya or ritual which could bring him bodily to heaven. Vashishth denied fulfilling his wish, and whereupon Trishanku came to hundred sons of Vashishth engaged in penance and austerity. They too
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couldn’t help him, rather cursed him to become a chandal, a disgraceful social stigma. 1-58. Shatanand continued …….Trishanku to Vishwamtir ( 24) Trishanku thus cursed by the sons of royal mentor came back to his capital. Next day he turned into a chandal, with all his cloths turned black. Seeing his transformation into unacceptable form of a chandal, his ministers and royal assistants deserted him. Trishanku didn’t lose his heart. He came to Vishwmaitr and narrated what had happened with him and he mentioned, “Luck is the supreme, nothing can prevail upon it. Although I performed several ygya and vedic rituals my desire of going bodily to heaven has brought upon me this status of a chandal.” 1-59. Shatanand continued ……..Vishwamitr organized ygya (22) Vishwamitr sent his sons and disciples to invite sages including the sons of Vashishth. Sages began arriving. Some of the disciples who had gone to invite son of Vashishth, came back and spoke to Vishwamitr, “The sons of Vashishth has condemned this ygya where the head organizer is kshatriya and the host is chandal, Trishanku.” Vishwamitr in anger hurled host of curses on them denouncing their mentality. 1-60. Shatanand continued ……Trishanku pushed back from heaven (34) Vishwamitr addressed the sages who had gathered at his behest. When he mentioned that he wanted to perform a vedic ritual which could send Trishanku bodily to heaven, those sages became skeptical, but afraid of his curse agreed to act what he wanted. The ygya commenced, and when the share of various gods were offered invoking them to accept their oblation, non turned up. Enraged Vishwamitr didn’t care gods not accepting his invocation, and using his ascetic power, pronounced mantra to send Trishanku to heaven. Trishanku rose and reached the realms of heaven but Indra threw him down from there since he was tainted with the curse of chandal from his mentors. Trishanku, upside down cried for help and Vishwamitr with his potential stopped him in space in the same condition upside down. Vishwamitr began creating parallel heaven by creating galaxy of stars, saptrishi mandal all in the southern hemisphere because north was occupied with the existing godly creation. Trishanku stayed there amidst newly created galaxy of stars by Vishwamitr. The ritual concluded and the invitees were bade farewell. 1-61. Shatanand continued …….Ambrish in search of the ritual animal (24) Vishwamitr then left that southern direction and moved to western zone full of forests with lakes. He began his penance with light food of fruits on the side of one of the lakes. At the same time the king of Ayodhya, called Ambrish had commenced ygya and the ygya horse was stolen by Indra. He was not able to locate the horse. His priests steering the ygya told that in substitute any human being could also be used as ritual animal. Ambrish began the search for such a substitute. He reached
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Bhrugu-tung a mountain top where the sage Richika was staying with his family. He sought the sage for selling one his sons as a substitute for ritual animal. (Richika is husband of Satyvathi sister of Vishwamitr). The sage spoke to Ambrish, “I can’t share my eldest son.” His wife spoke, “ I can’t share the youngest son, Shunak.” The middle son, Sunahshep spoke, “ Father can’t share the eldest one, and the mother sticks to the youngest son. It means I am available.” He agreed to go with the king Ambrish. The king offered lot of gold, gems, one hundred thousand cows to the sage and moved with Sunahshep towards his ygya venue. 1-62. Shatanand continued ……..Ambrish performed ygya (28) While coming to the venue with Sunahshep, the king stopped on way for rest. Coincidently, Vishwamitr was doing penance in the nearby. Sunahshep went to him and fell in his lap saying he was going as a ritual animal for the ygya of Ambrish. Vishwamitr asked his sons who were with him doing penance to go as substitute of Sunhshep because they were accomplished ones after doing so long penance. Madhusyand and his other sons replied collectively to him that for saving Sunahshep why did he want to sacrifice one of his sons. Vishwamitr became angry and cursed them that like sons of Vashishth they would fall in the cycle of birth and death and keep subsisting on the meat of dogs. He then gave two vedic hymns to Sunahshep which would provide him longevity. He spoke to Sunahshep, “ When you are made ready and fixed to the Vishnu-post, recite these hymns.” Sunhashep came to Ambrish and moved to the ygya place. When the ygya resumed and turn of Sunhshep came as a ritual animal, he recited those hymns taught by Vishwamitr. Indra hearing those hymns protected and blessed him for long life. Ambrish also got the fruits of the ygya by the grace of Indra. Vishwamitr continued his penance for another thousand years by remaining near the lakes. 1-63. Shatanand continued ……..Vishwamitr and Menaka (26) When Vishwamitr completed the penance and took bath on the conclusion, gods appeared. Brahma addressed him as a great saint (rishi bhadram). He was not satisfied with this title. He continued his penance further. In the meanwhile one day he saw Menaka the celestial girl swimming in the lake. He was overwhelmed by her beauty and asked her to stay there. He was diverted with her and thus ten years rolled out. The sage realized this hIndrance created by gods. He became repentant. Menaka stood before him with folded hands and he pardoned her and moved to the northern Himalaya for further penance. On the bank of river Kaushaki he undertook the penance for one thousand years. Gods approached Brahma to bestow the title of maharshi on him. Brahma came to him with the gods and addressed him as maharshi, but he was not satisfied. He wanted to be addressed as brahmrishi. Brahma told that for becoming brahmrshi he was required to be really victor of senses. Saying thus Brahma left the place.

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Vishwamitr undertook rigorous penance further by raising both his arms up and remaining only on air. He remained in fire in summer, in open sky in rains, in water in winter. 1-64. Shatanand continued …………..Rambha cursed (20) Afraid of Vishwamitr accomplishments Indra commissioned Rambha to interfere his penance. Initially she was afraid of the sage’s ire, but Indra spoke to her, “ I would accompany you as a sweet-word bird, and love-god would also be there in similar guise.” Vishwamitr heard of sweet melodious chirping of birds. He then spotted Rambha in her charming physique. Immediately sensing the Indra’s traps for him, he cursed Rambha to become mass of rock. When Rambha turned into rock, Indra and love god fled away from there. Vishwamitr realized his fault of getting prevailed upon by anger. He resolved to continue the penance for another one thousand years maintaining the state of breathlessness, until he attained the brahamrishi title. 1-65. Shatanand concluded……..Vishwamitr became Brahmarishi (40) Vishwamitr continued his vow of rigorous penance of keeping silence and breathlessness. It was end of one thousand years. He cooked his food and was about to eat that Indra disguised as a Brahmin came supplicating for food. He gave all to the Brahmin and again resumed his penance for another stint of observing complete rigors. The fumes and radiance sprang forth from his head. Gods were feared. Physical world was affected by this extraordinary development. The gods gathered before Brahma and narrated the developments taking place due to Vishwamitr’s penance. Brahma arrived near Vishwamitr and addressed him as Brahmrishi. Vishwamitr with folded hands expressed his obligation to Brahma but sought his blessing for being accepted as brahmrishi by the great sage Vashishth also. Gods invoked Vashishth and he addressed Vishwamitr as brahmrishi. Both patched up their old bitterness and became friends. Shatanand concluded the legend on Vishwamitr mentioning, “He is an ace ascetic full of fortitude and rectitude. Ram and Lakshaman luckily got a great guide.” King Janak offered his due reverence to Vishwamitr and expressed, “ I am fortunate that my ygya has been graced by such a great sage.” He giving rounds of Vishwmaitr took his leave to see him tomorrow morning as the evening had already set in. Vishwamitr with Ram and Lakshaman came to the place of stay. 1-66. Shiva’s bow shown to Ram (26) Next day morning completing the daily rites Vishwamitr with Ram and Lakshaman met Janak. Janak asked what was command of the sage for him. The sage advised the king to show them the Shiva’s bow. Before they were taken to see the bow, Janak narrated the story. He mentioned, “Shiva was furious when his share was not placed in the ygya of Daksha. Shiva stretched this bow and cautioned gods that he
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was going to split their heads for the fault of ignoring his share of oblation in the ygya. On begging of pardon, Shiva forgave them and he gave this bow to gods. Gods in turn handed over the bow to one of my forefathers, Devarat.” After ploughing the field I got a daughter, called Sita. I wanted to marry her with the one possessed of unique valour. Several kings came to give their test of valour by way of lifting this bow. None could do that. In anguish they got united against me and laid a siege of my city a year ago. With the help of celestial army I could scatter them. Janak continued, “If Ram strings this bow, I would offer my daughter to him.” 1-67. Ram and the Shiva’s bow (27) Janak commanded the ministers to bring the bow which was smeared with paste of sandal and wrapped in garland. Five thousand tall persons pulled the eight wheeled casket containing the bow from the palace chamber to the court hall. Janak indicated to Vishwamitr that the bow might be shown to the princes. On the initiative of Vishwamitr Ram moved forward and upon lifting the lid of the casket had a glance of the bow. He inquisitively asked the permission to get a touch of the bow by his hand and take out to feel its divinity. Both Janak and Vishwamitr consented simultaneously, “All right.” He pulled out the bow holding from its centre in the presence of thousands of people in the hall. When after fixing he stretched the string the bow broke from its centre with a loud deafening sound as if the earth had split due to quaking mountains. Except Vishwamitr, Janak and the two brothers, others were swooned by the sound. Janak was very happy by this incident, and he immediately made a proposal for sending his ministers to Ayodhya to bring the king for solemnizing the marriage of Sita with Ram. Vishwamitr consented and soon the royal messengers left for Ayodhya to apprise the king Dasarth with the entire development in detail and invite him to Mithila for marriage of Ram and Sita. 1-68. Dasarath invitated (19) The royal messengers of Mithila riding the chariots spent three nights en route before they entered Ayodhya. Welcoming them, they were brought before the elderly king Dasarath in his court. They narrated the eventful happening of Ram breaking the bow of Shiva for which the king Janak had vowed that he would marry his daughter who could be of valour to string the bow. They narrated, “Several kings in the past couldn’t even pull out the bow out of the casket. They collectively, after their failure, charged a siege of Mithila which the king Janak dealt successfully. The marriage proposal of Sita to Ram by king Janak has been sanctified by Shatanand and endorsed by Vishwamitr. Kindly accept the invitation and leave for Mithila with your royal preceptor, ministers and well wishers at the earliest to solemnize the marriage under your care.”

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King Dasarath was happy to learn about the presence of his two sons under care of sage Vishwamitr at Mithila. He immediately consulted Vamdeva and Vashishth and the ministers. They welcome the proposal and the king announced to set out for Mithila tomorrow morning. The messengers received royal treatment and spent their night awaiting the break of auspicious dawn. 1-69. Dasarth arrived in Mithila (19) The king summoned Sumantr, his counselor, and asked him to arrange expeditiously adequate gold, gem etc to be distributed at Janakpur and the consignment must move before we move. He asked, “The chariots of Vashsith, Vamdev, Jabali, Kashyap, Markadeya and other venerable priests shall procede my chariot. All four types of army contingent shall accompany the procession.” Accordingly the king set out for Mithila and arrived there in four days. King Janak heard their arrival and came forward on the outskirt to receive them. They were warmly ushered in Mithila. Janaka proposed, “Tomorrow let the sages decide the date and time of marriage which should be solemnized at the earliest within three four days.” The king Dasarath consented to his proposal. The coming together of saints and sages at Mithila was very enjoying to them. Vishwamitr leding Ram and Lakshaman came to see the king Dasarath who was glad to see his two sons when they touched his feet. Happily, they retired for night’s rest. Janak performed several vedic rituals for the upcoming events for his two daughters (sautaByaama\ 1-69-19) and thereafter satisfactorily went to sleep. 1-70. Pre-wedding preparations, forefathers of Dasarath (45) In the morning, the king Janak spoke to the royal priest Shatanand, “My brother, Kushadhwaj, staying at Sankasya is surrounded by the river Ikshumati. The floating lotus around the city gives an impression as if city is riding a pushpak viaman. He is performer of the ongoing vedic ygya, and he will also extend help in the wedding ceremony. Let him be informed by a messenger to come here immediately.” Shatadand called a messenger who on the command of Janak went fast to Sanksya. On hearing the message, Kshdhwaj immediately arrived at Mithila. Both the brothers then after interacting between themselves sent Sudaaman, the wise minister of Mithila to invite the king Dasarath with Vashishth and other sages. As commanded by Janak, Sudaman, came to submit the message to Dasarath. Immediately Dasarath with Vashishth and other sages arrived at the Janak’s place. Dasarath initiated, “Vashishth is the royal priest and preceptor of Ikshavaku family, and he will introduce about my forefathers in presence of the sages.” Vishwamitr consented to his proposal by nodding. Vashishth narrated the family tree thus, “The sequence is like this: Brahma, Marichi, Kashyap, Vivasvaan (the sun), Manu, Ikshavaaku, Kukshi, Vikushi, Baan, Anrnya, Prithu, Trishanku, Dhundhimaar, Yuvanaashwa, Asit, Mandhaataa, and Susandhi.
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Susandhi had got two sons Dhruvasandhi and Presenjit. Bharat was born from Dhruvasandhi and his son was Asit. The foreign tribes of Haihaya and Taljangha, attacked over Asit and dethroned him. The king Asit, exiled in forest, breathed his last while his two wives were pregnant in the forest. One queen by jealousy gave poison to the other queen, the co-wife of the departed king, but the sage Chyavan who was staying in the nearby hermitage saved her and assured that the poison would do no harm to the child in the womb. When the child was born from her he was called Sagar (sa + gar which means with poison; refer 1-38 for more details). While being reared up under the sage Chyavan, the child Sagar learnt all about the archery and other warfare skills besides the scriptures. He learnt in course of time about the dethronement of his father and winning over the enemies he restored the kingdom of his father in his possession. Further lineage coming from Sagar: Asamanj, Ansuman, Dilip, Bhageerath, Kakutstha, Raghu, Pravridha (his another name was Kalmashpaad and due to curse of Vashishth he had become a demon staying on the human flesh), Sankhan, Sudarshan, Agnivarna, Shighrag, Maru, Prashruk, Ambreesha, Nahush, Yayati, Naabhaag, Aj, Dasarath. From Dasarath is these two brothers Ram and Lakshaman who are quite matching to be married to the daughters of Janak. “ 1-71. Janak enumerated his forefathers (24) After listening Vashishth, Janak, as a customary practice of the wedding, put a cursory description of his forefathers. His forefathers enlisted by him is in the order: “ Nimi, Mithi, Janak, Udavasu, Nandivardhan, Suketu, Devarat, Brihadrath, Mahavir, Sudhriti, Dhrishtketu, Haryasva, Maru, Pratindhak, Kirtirath, Devamidh, Bibudha, Mahidhrak, Kirtiraata, Mahaaroma, Swarnroma, and Hrisvaroma.” Janak continued, “ I and Kushadhwaj are the sons of Hrisvaroma. My father crowning me as the king, and handing over my younger brother Kushadhwaj to me, went to forest. Once Sudhanva asked me to handover the bow of Shiva and Sita to him. When I refused he attacked and he was killed in the battlefield. Thereafter, I crowned Kushdhwaj as the king of Sudhanva’s Sankasya. Janak confirming the wedding to be held mentioned, “ I offer my daughter to Ram, and Urmila to Lakshaman. Today is Magha nakshatra, and on the third day in the period of Uttra Phalguni, I propose the marriage to be solemnized.” 1-72. Vishwamitr proposed the marriage of daughters of Kushadhwaj (25) On conclusion of Janak’s submission, Vishwamir mentioned to Janak, “Both the royal houses of Ikshvaku and Nimi are great. It is auspicious that they now shall have the marriage relationship. I also propose that Kushidhwaj has two daughters and let them be married with Bharat and Shatrughn.” This was consented by Vashiahth. Janak readily agreed to the proposal. Dasarath praising the two sages, proposed to proceed with necessary rituals in this regard. Being lead by two sages,
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he left for his place of stay. In the morning of the other day, as a preparatory ritual to the upcoming wedding, he donated besides huge sum of wealth, thousands of well decorated cows to Brahmins and sages. 1-73. The Wedding (40) In the morning when the king Dasarath had performed liberal donations, there arrived Yudhaajit, the prince of Kekaya region, and maternal uncle of Bharat. Dasarath welcoming him asked the welfare of his father and relatives. Yudhaajit spoke, “My father wanted to see Bharat. I came to Ayodhya to take him to Kekaya desh. I learnt about their marriage here in Mithila, and I came here.” The king Dasarath after staying that day with joy, spent the night. The morning of the wedding day arrived and he with his entourage moved to the ritual hall and advised Vashishth to enquire about the status of wedding solemnization. Vashishth coming to the marriage hall enquired from the king Janak about the preparations. Janak informed him, “Everything is ready. My daughters have already arrived at the fire quarters. I welcome you all here now with the bridegrooms.” When Vashishth informed the king Dasarth about the preparations, with all his four sons and keeping the sages in the forefront Dasarath arrived at the wedding venue. Vashishth in presence of fire in the fire quarters, sanctified all the ritual articles and varieties of pots with grass, rice and water. Janak brought Sita fully bejeweled in royal clothes. Ram with four brothers were also dressed up well with all sorts of jewels and clothes. Janak offered the hand of Sita to Ram mentioning, “She is your wife and would remain with you like your shadow.” He offered her to Ram with the recitation of hymns and pouring of water in their joined palms. Similarly he handed over the hands of Urmila to Lakshaman, Mandavi to Bharat, Shrutkriti to Shatrughn. All the four pairs gave three rounds (1-73-39) to the sacred fire. Gods showered flowers and the melodious sound of divine music permeated throughout the period of wedding. Sages lead the procession with Dasarath and the four pairs arrived with them to the place of stay. The king’s eyes had no saturation of the auspicious sights of the four pairs, and he kept gazing at them. 1-74. Prashuram (24) Next day early in the morning, Vishwamitr took leave of the king and moved out to the north. The king Dasarath also took leave of Janak and set out for Ayodhya. While giving farewell to his daughters Janak gifted them with huge wealth of gems, gold, silver and precious items. Thousands of cows, horses, elephants, chariots and several other valuable items were gifted. On way Dasarath noticed birds creating loud noise around him, while the animals were running on his right. He enquired from Vashishth whether auspiciousness
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would be maintained on way. Vashishth explained, “Birds indicate some disturbance, while the animals annul the bad omens and prevalence of auspiciousness.” In the meanwhile there arrived Prashuram with lightening brilliance holding pharsa (double arched sharp steel weapon with a handle) in his right hand, while his left hand held the bow and arrow. Sages began offering prayer to him with respectful ritual of water (arghya, and padya). While the sages doubted, “Whether he would again resume his previous action of killing kshatriya” , Prashuram moved to Ram. 1-75. Prashuram …..continued (28) He told to Ram, “ I have heard about your potential and performances, including the breaking of Shiva’s bow among the several others. As a further test case, the bow I am holding is of Vishnu, and I give it to you for stringing it and shooting the shaft.” King Dasarath, desperately interfered with his polite submission to Prashuram, “My son is yet like a child. You had given words to Indra not to kill kshatriya any more. Besides after killing the kshatriya several times you have already gifted the earth to Kashyap, and taken ultimate refuge to the mount Mahendra. Have pity on my son.” Prashuram ignoring the Dasarath’s intervention continued, “The celestial smith, Viswkarma had prepared two bows. Gods gave one to Shiva and the other to Vishnu. Shiva used the bow to kill the demon Tripura. Gods gathered at Brahma’s place and wanted to know who was mightier, Shiva or Vishnu. Brahma to quell their query for ever scripted a drama between Shiva and Vishnu causing them to fight. Both of them presented an excellent fight and in doing so when Vishnu produced a nasal sound, the third eye of Shiva got frozen. He surrendered and Vishnu became victorious. Shiva gifted his bow to the king of Vidheh, Devarat. Vishnu also gifted his bow to Jamdagni, son of the sage Richika. Jamdagni being my father, I got this bow. My father had quit using the weapons, and finding him alone meditating Kritvirya Arjun, beheaded him. In retaliation I cleared this earth several times of the race of kshatriya. Now I invite you to take this Vishnu bow and perform as I told you to do.” 1-76. Prashuram………continued (24) Ram praised Prashuram for paying the debt of killing of his father by eliminating kshatriya kings. He took that bow having a shaft on its string. He pulled the string and asked Prashuram where to shoot the shaft. Further he asked, “ Either it will destroy your mind-speed movement ability or your treasure of penance. “ Prashuram recalled the command of Kaashyap, “When I gifted the earth to Kaashyap, he asked me not to stay at night on earth. Since then I travel to mount Mahendra at night.” Considering his ability of movement not to be damaged, he asked Ram to charge the arrow to destroy his treasure of penance. He offered

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his prayer to Ram saying, “You are unparallel in the entire creation, the absolute Narayan Himself. No one can excel against you.” Gods had gathered in the sky to watch this event. Ram observing his desire shot the shaft to devoid him of his potential of penance. In front of the presence of gods, Prashuram gave round to Ram and vanished in thin air for Mahendra mount. 1-77. Arriving back to Ayodhya (29) When Prashuram was gone, Ram addressed his father to issue command to the army to proceed towards Ayodhya. Dasarath kissed the forehead of his son, Ram as if he had got a gift of life from the anger of Prashuram. Soon they reached Ayodhya where warm welcome awaited them. All the streets were kept moist, decorated with urban style, strewn with arches and flowers. The king entered his palace and enjoyed the inner gathering of three quins Kaushlya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra amidst the four pair of brides and bride- grooms. The women folk greeted the newly-wed brides with due customary practices. King Dasarath advised Bharat to go with Yudhaajit to his maternal uncle’s place since he had come to take him there. Bharat took Shatrughn as his companion and seeking the leave from father, Ram, and three mothers left for Kekaya. Ram and Lakshaman assisted their father in his royal duties. They earned the love of darling from the people of Ayodhya as two brothers had always protected the interest of the people of state. The relation between Sita and Ram, day by day, grew deeper and deeper. They remained the heart of each other.

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